Intensive vs. Extensive

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Ashley Davis 1I
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:04 am

Intensive vs. Extensive

Postby Ashley Davis 1I » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:20 pm

Could someone explain the difference between intensive and extensive values/properties? We went over this briefly in my discussion but I was a little lost in how it pertained to our course...

Gevork 2E
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:05 am
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Re: Intensive vs. Extensive

Postby Gevork 2E » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:34 pm

Extensive: Dependent on the amount of the substance that you have.
Example: Mass, volume, etc.

Intensive: Not dependent on the amount of the substance.
Examples: Density, maybe something like color, conductance.

Hope this helps.

Harjas Sabharwal 1G
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:01 am

Re: Intensive vs. Extensive

Postby Harjas Sabharwal 1G » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:09 pm

Intensive properties are properties that are not related to the size or mass of the system. (Think intrinsic). Extensive properties change with the mass or the size of the system. For example, for water will always boil at 100°C. Hence boiling point is an intensive property. However, the amount of energy needed to raise an amount of water by 1°C(heat capacity) is dependent on the amount of water. Hence heat capacity is an extensive property.

William Xu Dis 1D
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:05 am

Re: Intensive vs. Extensive

Postby William Xu Dis 1D » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:35 pm

This is probably best understood through examples.

Say you have a cup of tea at 80 degrees Celsius. If you use a spoon to scoop up some of the tea from the cup, the tea in the spoon will still be 80 degrees Celcius, and if you used a spoon of a different size, the tea will still be 80 degrees Celcius. Therefore, the property of temperature is not affected by the sample size of the sample, meaning it is intensive.

Now consider mass, which can be defined as the amount of matter in an object. Now imagine the beach. If you scoop up some sand with one hand, and scoop up more sand with another hand and combine them, you can see how a sample from one hand has less mass than a sample of sand from two hands combined.; therefore, mass is an extensive property.

I hope these examples help!

Shreya Ramineni 2L
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:07 am

Re: Intensive vs. Extensive

Postby Shreya Ramineni 2L » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:49 pm

Intensive properties do not depend on amount of the substance while extensive properties do. An example of an intensive property is density, while extensive include work and heat. For calculations, an extensive divided by an extensive gives an intensive property, which is seen with heat capacity and is preferred.

Sarah Sharma 2J
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:05 am

Re: Intensive vs. Extensive

Postby Sarah Sharma 2J » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:57 pm

The most basic definition and difference between an intensive and extensive property is that an intensive property is a physical property of a system that is completely independent of size. Whereas an extensive property is a bit more specific in that is is dependent on the amount of matter present in the sample. Some examples of an intensive properties would be color, temperature, and solubility. Some examples of extensive properties would be mass and volume.


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